Alan Jacobs: Internet in the Classroom

3 Responses

  1. Alison says:

    I've noticed at work how younger people (I'm 52) bounce around on the computer a lot, both in the workspace and on the public computers. I admire their ability to take in information quickly. I can't do that- I'm slow and methodical. And I much prefer hard copy to reading on a screen.

    How does one train to parse for quality? How do we trust teachers and professors to provide information when everyone has an agenda? Quite often I read or hear one side of an argument and it seems O.K. until I read or hear the other side. There are so many facets to consider… I get overwhelmed!

    • Charles says:

      The major problem students have parsing for quality is that you have to have a certain level of familiarity with the subject or with research in order to look at a Google search and know what's reliable.

      For example, a few years ago I wouldn't have been able to understand the difference in reliability between Crossway's Justin Taylor (Between Two Worlds) and Slice of Laodicea. And the difference is huge. In order to parse for quality you need to learn trustworthy names from your teachers and mentors, then learn enough about the subject (and logic) to weed out the crap for yourself.

      As far as teachers with agendas, you can usually see those tendencies from miles away, and you can usually counteract that influence by making note of the people they ridicule and checking their references, so to speak. Master's and Doctoral students will have a much easier time than undergrads.

      The teacher's job is to bring the high quality, representative information to the students, so they can learn to recognize it when they see it.

  2. Alison says:

    /Oh, I get a kick out of my funny face!/

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